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THE LAST WORD

Remember our Korean War vets

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:01 am

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the July 27, 1953, armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War.

Thanks to the TV comedy series “M*A*S*H,” many Americans are at least aware there was a Korean War. It’s been called America’s forgotten war, but 54,246 Americans died in it, including 887 from Indiana, 51 from Allen County. Overall, 99,800 Hoosiers served in the war; 5,180 from Allen County.

The Indiana Chapter No. 1 of the Korean War Veterans Association in 1995 erected a memorial for those who died in the war at the 40-acre Veterans National Shrine on O’Day Road.

This week I drove to the shrine to see the memorial. It’s an impressive display featuring a black marble monument with a picture of a stern-faced soldier etched into it and three panels honoring local veterans, the Korean community and military nurses. At its base, a granite panel displays the seals of the armed forces branches.

The memorial honors the 51 Allen County men who died in the Korean War, along with others killed in the war, those missing in action, prisoners of war and those who survived.

The names of Allen County’s dead soldiers are inscribed on 4-by-8-inch red bricks that help form the memorial’s walkway.

The Veterans National Shrine also includes memorials to those who served in other wars. If you’ve never been, please take an easy drive about three miles west from the University of Saint Francis on Bass Road, then angle right on Yellow River Road for just over a half mile and angle right again on O’Day. You’re there.

Kerry Hubartt is editor of The News-Sentinel.